From old to new again

When my father passed away last year, my mom decided to move in with me–and that meant combining households. Mom had a lot of stuff. Some I loved and some I was like, “nah, I don’t think that would go with the house.”

Mom was good about it, but there were some pieces that she wanted to hold onto. Like her china cabinet. We needed a china cabinet because we didn’t have anywhere to store our fancy dishes and glassware. I had been checking prices and, lemme tell you, they aren’t cheap–especially ones that were large enough to hold all of our stuff…but I didn’t know how Mom’s cabinet would look in our house:

This is ’90s style! My parents bought this in 1994 and my mother absolutely loved it. It was her showpiece…but it didn’t go with my decor. What to do?

It was the perfect size, but the wrong style. I wanted to keep it, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

So I did what most crafty folk do: I went to Pinterest.

Pinterest is great for getting ideas and figuring out solutions to some of these decorating conundrums. I typed in ‘china cabinet’ and the images that popped up were great–especially the ones about painting your china cabinet.

Light bulbs went off!

I could take Mom’s china cabinet and paint it to match the look of my house. When I told my husband, he looked at me blankly and said, “Do you remember what happened the last time you tried to paint something?”

(Yep, that was a hot mess. I’ll tell you about it in another post.)

OK, so maybe I wouldn’t paint it myself, but I could pay someone to paint it for me! I work with a contractor who had a couple of people who could do the job. The price ranged from $1,200 to $1,500. Now, you may think, ‘Lawd! That’s plenty money!”

Yes, it was pricey to get it painted, but it was cheaper to paint than to purchase one that was that size and the style I wanted. I could have went to the flea market and bought one, but I would have still had to paint it. And, more importantly, Mom got to hold onto something that she loved. Pops passing away and Mom leaving her condo and moving in with us was a difficult thing, but at least she see some of the things they had together throughout the house.

It’s the little things that make you feel at home, right?

Truthfully, as this was going to be a showpiece for the house, I was a bit concerned about whether or not I would have been able to do it well. I mean, I would prefer to start with a small project that I could bungle and not feel too bad than have a repeat of range hood-gate.

So, we paid $1,500–we knew this person’s work and he could return it the fastest–and here’s what we got:


Gorgeous, huh? I fell in love as soon as I saw it. I was thinking of updating the hardware, but I really liked the look of the gold pulls.

My mother saw it and said, “It’s looks good. You know, Shell, I didn’t think it would have looked good in white.”

“But you didn’t say anything! Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Well, it’s yours now, so I let you do what you wanted to do with it.”

Really, Mom? Anyhow, it looks amazing and definitely better than if I had done it myself.


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